Just Girls

Play Me

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Like the boy band D'ZRT before them, the girl group Just Girls are a chart-topping Portuguese pop act spun off from the teen-oriented television drama series Morangos com Açúcar. Their debut album, Just Girls (2007), spawned the smash hit "O Jogo Já Começou" and found the quartet taking turns delivering run-of-the-mill pop songs. Released a year later, the follow-up album, Play Me, does its best to replicate its predecessor. There are several electro-tinged dance-pop songs, the best of which is "Ser Radical," and there are a couple guest features for Morangos com Açúcar associates 4Taste and Angélico Vieira. Besides "Ser Radical," highlights include the electro-rocker "Viver a Vida Nunca é Demais," the sensitive ballad "Entre o Sonho e a Ilusão," and the symphonic pop singalong "Se Acabar Assim." Though these highlights are unfortunately few and far between, from a production standpoint, Play Me is interesting from beginning to end. "Deixa o Som Voar" isn't one of the album's better songs, for example, but it is one the most curious in that it includes a little bit of everything stylistically: electric guitar riffs, electronic dance beats, '80s-style synthesizers, and more. Also unfortunate is that the producers of Play Me can't overcome the vocal limitations of vocalists Ana Maria Velez, Diana Monteiro, Helga Posser, and Kiara Timas, who are no less plastic on their second album than they were on their first. Those fans who are devoted enough to overlook the robotic vocals and the elementary lyrics will find Play Me to be a suitable follow-up to Just Girls. The productions are fresh in style and there's a small handful of highlights.

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